NEWS & BLOG
In collaboration with Dow and Midland’s Emergency Operations Center, United [...]
United Way of Midland County has partnered with 211 Northeast [...]
United Way of Midland County this week partnered with [...]
As Michigan takes measures to help stop the spread of [...]
The COVID-19 Coalition — a combination of philanthropy, government, educational, [...]
This is an unprecedented time. There is no rulebook titled [...]
In collaboration with Dow and Midland’s Emergency Operations Center, United Way of Midland County has created a process for those who wish to donate and access items for flood relief.
“We are so grateful for the overwhelming generosity of people, corporations and organizations—both in our own backyard and across the nation—who want to donate items to help those impacted by this severe event,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County. “For those who have been eager to donate and help: we see you, we hear you, we appreciate you.”
The Supplies Donations Plan provides a framework to collect and distribute donated items to those in need.
“Along with United Way and numerous organizations, we are stepping forward together in order to best respond to the flood devastation,” said Jennifer Boyer, Midland County’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “We must stress how important it is that people refrain from simply showing up at a location with a truck full of donations. This can create confusion and ultimately cause more harm than good. This process exists in order to get much-need items in the hands of those who need it most.”
The current list of items needed includes:
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Cleaning supplies
- Personal care items
- Household goods
Clothing donations will not be accepted at this time.
“As described by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, clothing is one of the items deemed unnecessary in a disaster situation,” Miller said. “We are appreciative to those who want to donate clothes, but we are focused on solely collecting items that will help fulfill basic needs.”
Beginning Wednesday, May 27, the following locations will serve as both drop-off sites for those who wish to donate items—as well pick-up sites for individuals who need access to supplies— between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week to start:
- West Midland Family Center, 4011 W. Isabella Road
- Coleman High School, 4951 N. Lewis Road
- Sanford Senior Center, 3243 N. West River Road
- Meridian Elementary School, 3343 N. Meridian Road
- North Family Center, 2601 E. Shearer Road
- Gladwin downtown – parking lot behind Forge Fitness, 237 W. Cedar, Gladwin; corner of Arcade & Grout
- Midland High School, 1301 Eastlawn Drive
- Bullock Creek High School, 1420 S. Badour Road
Businesses or organizations who want to donate items must first fill out United Way’s Supplies Donations Survey online at reliefmidland.org by clicking the ‘Supplies Donations’ button. Once the survey is complete, United Way will be in contact within 48 hours to discuss next steps. If the need is urgent, businesses can indicate the urgency within the survey and United Way will be in touch as soon as possible.
Dow is lending their supply chain expertise and deploying employee volunteers to the drop-off and distribution sites across the county.
“Many thanks to Dow for their willingness to step into this space to help ensure our community gets what they need as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Miller said.
“The execution of the Supplies Distribution Plan is a reflection of the collaborative efforts of Midland’s organizations, businesses, agencies and leadership,” Miller added.
Along with Dow, those offering resources to provide community support include The Salvation Army, the Arnold Center, Great Lakes Loons and local restaurants. United Way is also partnering with the Health Department to ensure proper protocols are in place to maintain safety and health guidelines.
“Our community is equipped to stand up from this devastation because of the outpouring of support,” Miller said. “In times of crisis, our community continues to rise above, again and again. Midland is showing the nation right now what it looks like to truly live united.”
United Way of Midland County has partnered with 211 Northeast Michigan to launch a national public service announcement to encourage proactive choices when setting financial priorities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Titled “Keeping Your Family Afloat,” the PSA offers a reminder that resources such the government stimulus check and other resources are designed to help families fulfill household gaps during this challenging time. This is especially helpful for the many hardworking ALICE families (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) who are often one crisis away from poverty and those facing unemployment or underemployment.
“The impact of COVID-19 goes beyond the here and now,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County. “We want to remind people that resources they have access to now are a supportive boost, but many are one-time only. We have a long road ahead of us. Our hope is that individuals and families have the tools and resources they need for long-term success.”
The PSA centers on a family sailing in a boat. It compares the COVID-19 response to a rainstorm of life factors — childcare, unemployment, rent, etc. — and how this storm can sink the family ship. But the family is proactive, using helpful “buckets” (resources from the government and community) to remove the water and stay afloat until they land on shore under sunny skies, surrounded by the community.
In the PSA, people are also directed to call 211 if they need help. 211 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“In times of crisis — especially an unprecedented time such as this pandemic — our day-to-day responsibilities like car payments, rent and childcare can feel overwhelming and unmanageable,” said Sarah Kile, executive director of 211 Northeast Michigan. “This PSA reiterates the message that prioritizing and making the best choices financially — rather than the easier choice — can help put families in a much healthier, stable position now and in the future. When our community is in crisis, it is important to know that no matter what, no matter when, 211 is here for you.”
To view the PSA, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM864Fo4zr0
United Way of Midland County this week partnered with Corteva Agriscience to host the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network mobile food pantry, feeding over 1,000 local families.
On Thursday, volunteers from Corteva, United Way of Midland County, Great Lakes Bay Veterans Coalition, Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network and numerous community members distributed food at Midland High School.
“Food continues to be the No. 1 request through 2-1-1,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County. “We recognize many need food help, some for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Corteva is an amazing partner, providing dollars and volunteers to ensure food continues to be available for so many who are counting on this lifeline.”
The group worked together to distribute enough food to feed 3,600 individuals. For the health and safety of volunteers and participants, attendees were asked to stay in their vehicles for the distribution. Volunteers also wore gloves and cloth masks.
Corteva Michigan employees have donated to United Ways across the region, with a generous corporate match for the first $5,000 of employee gifts to support the response to COVID-19.
Corteva began collecting monetary donations on March 16, raising enough money to help finance this mobile food pantry and other ways to ensure food continues to be available for those on the frontlines and ALICE families.
“We are grateful to Corteva and their team for stepping up,” Miller said. “When we have organizations, nonprofits, and community members coming together, we can wrap our arms around our neighbors and help lift each other up.”
As Michigan takes measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, United Way of Midland County is inviting community members to spread happiness through a unique virtual volunteer opportunity.
The opportunity — called “Happy Notes” — allows people to write an encouraging note or make a drawing for seniors, students, healthcare employees or essential workers. McKay Press in Midland will print each Happy Note, then United Way will safely distribute the notes throughout the community.
“We know how hard this social distancing has been, even though we are doing it to protect one another,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County.
“We are wired for connection and many are feeling isolated and cut-off. Studies show loneliness can be just as detrimental to a person’s health as smoking. Happy Notes are a way to fuel connection in a safe and caring way. People can encourage others from the safety of their own home, while sharing encouragement, kindness and love with their community.”
To create a Happy Note, people can download a template and follow the instructions on United Way’s volunteer portal at http://eportal.unitedwaymidland.org/happynotes.
Along with Happy Notes, United Way of Midland County and many others are implementing additional supports in response to growing and emerging needs.
One area that has been identified is meeting the short-term childcare needs for essential workers. Working closely with the Midland County ESA and local childcare providers, United Way will be providing temporary funding to licensed providers for families who need help during the state’s shelter order.
John M. Searles, superintendent of the Midland County ESA, echoed the importance of supporting child care centers during this pandemic.
“Midland County ESA is happy to support area child care centers as they provide care for the children of our critical infrastructure workers,” Searles said.
United Way and the Midland Area Community Foundation continue to work together to identify the continually emerging needs and provide support.
“The essence of community is coming together to help one another. We are so pleased to work together with United Way of Midland County to support our community in this unprecedented time,” said Sharon Mortensen, president and CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation. “It is inspiring to see what can be accomplished when we come together in the spirit of collaboration.”